Empty crossword grid

1/4. He casts spells to assault marine mammal, having gained power (5,6)
8. Rose, who sings about Christ, is extremely antisocial (3)
10. The third of Tolkien's three works appears truly great, melts hearts (5)
11. Poor baby – small, unclothed (7)
12. Tolkienian dwarf visited by wizards from the East bringing art from the East (7)
13. Recurrent injection given to one of the sheep (5)
14. Travelling Iberians' trick questions got auditors scrambling (13)
17. Goodbye, single woman who passed away at a young age in the biggest city of France and the European Union (5)
19. Where Curtis Martin earned money to get medium-sized breast implants (7)
22. During colonialist era, missionaries backed soup kitchens (7)
23. No American Republicans giving money to sub-Saharan Africans (5)
24. Playground activity that's occasionally strange (3)
25. For instance, 1/4-across books are absolute junk – literature for chumps! (6)
26. Fabulous writer is a model making comeback (5)

1. Stuck up talk show host – he never says a word on screen (5)
2. A little roundish island controlled by the European Union; not in Spanish north (7)
3. Sort of fiction about key resort town (5)
5. Mayor disturbed after TV channel fails to start showing True Lies and Slumdog Millionaire? (7)
6. System pictured to have multiple paces (5)
7. Officials entertained false claim for works of art (7)
9. Principle of gentlemen from Lima, surprisingly satisfied to get rejected initially (6,5)
14. Unstable people of unusual size seen carrying wrecked car (7)
15. British university lecturer's expecting laboratory equipment, primarily one specific instrument (7)
16. Tolkienian character stashed away small flowers (7)
18. Topless outlaw at sea is mad (5)
20. Jack skinned cat, which is a family activity (5)
21. Southern man appearing in music video in which Cardi B dances in shallow pool; populists may want to drain it (5)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oho, it's another pangram crossword! Very nice :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 19:30

1 Answer 1


The filled grid:

completed crossword grid

Clue explanations:

clue explanations

I still don't understand two things:

the wordplay for REUNION, and why "chumps" means "last letters".

  • $\begingroup$ Secondary clue for 2A: "Norte" $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 20:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ 2: rot13(abegr zvahf abg) i guess? $\endgroup$
    – somebody
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ 25: probably in the sense of rot13(puhzc pubcf nxn ynzo ehzc zrng)? $\endgroup$
    – somebody
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 7:56
  • $\begingroup$ @somebody 2: That would mean "not" is doing double duty, though, no? And how do you end up placing that before UNION without "north" doing double duty as well? $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 8:38
  • $\begingroup$ "Chump" can mean "the thick end" of something. Maybe not the most clear-cut last-letter selection indicator, although I do remember seeing it before in a crossword. 2d was meant rot13(nf na naq yvg). $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Commented Mar 3, 2023 at 9:52

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